Wichita, KS Anti-Tethering Ordinance
Status: Adopted on 9/9/03
The second reading of the amendment to animal control ordinance passed on the consent agenda at the September 9 City Council meeting. This means that as of today, Friday, September 12, 2003, this ordinance is now law in the City of Wichita. Tethering of dogs is considered to be inhumane by local and national animal welfare authorities and is cited by animal behaviorists as a factor in increased aggression. If this law is broken, the perpetrator may be subject to penalties of up to a $500 fine and/or six months in jail. Here are the details of Wichita City Ordinance 6.04:
- It is unlawful to keep a dog tethered in place for more than one hour at a time.
- After a break of three hours, the dog may be tethered again for one hour, but for no more than a total of three hours per day.
- The tether – whether it is a chain, leash or rope – must be at least 10 feet long and weigh less than 1/8th of the animal’s body weight.
- The tether must be attached to a collar or harness to prevent injury.
- The dog must be tethered to prevent strangulation, injury or entanglement.
“Most people that keep dogs on chains do not realize the bad behavior they are creating with their dog,” said Jack Brown, Environmental Health Director. Exclusively chaining a dog causes aggressive behavior and makes it a danger to society. The dog learns that it cannot run away if it feels threatened, so it becomes aggressive to frighten danger away. “It has been proven that the owner, or a member of owner’s family are three times more likely to be bitten by their own dog if it is kept exclusively chained,” he said.
Greteman supported this initiative as well as the United States Postal Service, Kansas Humane Society and PALS Animal Rescue. The community advocates worked with Environmental Health officials to bring change. Together, it was passed through the local District Advisory Boards and the recommendation was made to City Council.
In an effort to communicate these changes in the ordinance, an insert in every City of Wichita water bill will go out in September. The water bill insert was created by Greteman Group and printed by Donlevy Lithograph. Those two companies donated all services and hard costs.